Historic Triangle Campus Gains Life-Saving Equipment


Published: March 30, 2007

Historic Triangle Campus Gains Life-Saving EquipmentStudents, faculty, staff and visitors at Thomas Nelson Community College’s Historic Triangle Campus will now have a better chance of surviving a cardiac arrest as a result of a newly installed Automated External Defibrillator (AED). The AED was provided through the Historic Triangle Public Access to Defibrillation initiative, funded by the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation.

An AED is a life-saving device that shocks a heart in sudden cardiac arrest, often restoring its regular rhythm. According to statistics shown in the Historic Triangle Public Access to Defibrillator Program information packet, survival rates are drastically increased when an AED is used within three to five minutes of a sudden cardiac arrest event. These statistics also indicate that sudden cardiac arrest is typically caused by ventricular fibrillation and is responsible for about 340,000 adult deaths annually in the United States and more than 300 in the greater Williamsburg region. About 95 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital.

Rob Elsass, Historic Triangle campus administrator, said, “We have a large and growing student population that includes people from 16 years of age to senior citizens. We want to be sure we can effectively respond to medical emergencies that may occur on our campus. We are proud to be a participant in the Saving Lives program in the Historic Triangle.” The device has been installed in the main hallway of Building C at 161 John Jefferson Road.

Elsass learned of the program in the fall during a meeting with the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation and sought out Bob Ryalls, chair of the Community Task Force charged with placing AEDs throughout the region. Ryalls is also the District Chief/Deputy Coordinator Emergency Management Division, James City County Fire Department.

“We made a case for placing an AED at the Historic Triangle campus. Chief Ryalls agreed and carried the request to the Task Force for us. It was quickly approved. The Task Force is also sponsoring up to eight training slots for our people,” said Elsass. “The device has become another tool for our Campus Police in promoting the safety and well being of our College community. AEDs are safe and easy to use, making it possible for non-medical personnel to be trained to provide defibrillation.” Thomas Nelson will train employees to recognize a cardiac emergency and respond appropriately with CPR and AED. Training will be coordinated through Campus Police.

Photo Caption:
Thomas Nelson Community College, Chief Eddie Perry (left) is presented with a defibrillator for the Thomas Nelson Community College Historic Triangle campus from Chief Bob Ryalls (right), Task Force Chair, Historic Triangle Public Access to Defibrillation Program, and District Chief/Deputy Coordinator Emergency Management Division, James City County Fire Department.



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